Group F plays home to the defending champions, primed to repeat their feat, or at least continue Germany’s incredible record in this tournament. Alongside side them are Mexico, bringing a potentially intriguing and deep squad of options to the tournament; Sweden, fresh off denying Italy and the Netherlands a place in Russia 2018, and Korea Republic, who have potentially more footballing challenges to solve than just 3 group games across the Russian cityscape.

Soccer World Cup Group F Predictions

Group F in this years Soccer World Cup consists of Germany, Sweden, Mexico and Korea Republic. Below we preview and make predictions for the Soccer World Cup group F.

PROFILE: GERMANY 

Germany Soccer World Cup

FIFA Ranking 1st World Cup Base Location Moscow
How they qualified Finished 1st in UEFA Qualifying Group C ahead of Northern Ireland
Form in 2017/18: Played 8, Won 4, Drawn 3, Lost 1 (includes 4 friendlies)

 

World Cup Record: 19 Tournaments, 4 World Cup titles (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
Played 106 Draws 20 Scored 224 Penalty Shootout Wins
Wins 66 Losses 20 Conceded 121 4 out of 4

 

Group Stage Round of 16 Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
1938 1978** 1962, 1994, 1998 1934, 1958, 1970, 2006, 2010 1954, 1966, 1974, 1982, 1986, 1990, 2002, 2014

 

World Cup Head to Head Records:
vs Mexico: Played 3, Won 3 Last Match: Won 2-1, 1998 Round of 16
Vs Sweden: Played 4, Won 3, Lost 1 Last Match: Won 2-0, 2006 Round of 16
vs Korea Republic: Played 2, Won 2 Last Match: Won 1-0, 2002 Semifinal

 

Various Odds of Interest
Outright Winner 4.50, 2nd favourite Group F Winner 0.35, favourite
To Reach Final No (0.30), Yes (2.25) Elimination Stage Round of 16 (2.50)
Top Goalscorer Werner (3.00), Muller (4.00), Wagner (5.00), Sane (13.00)

 

The defending champions enter 2018’s edition with several anecdotal records of interest surrounding them. 3 of the last 4 defending champions have experienced a surprise exit in the Group Stage, all from Europe (France 2002, Italy 2010 and Spain 2014). Germany however, have managed to secure 16 consecutive progressions from the 1st round of the World Cup since their first victory in 1954, and along with Brazil are the side to have progressed on the most occasions from the opening stages. Germany have been in the most finals, and the most semifinals in the tournament’s history. But the record they’ll be craving the most is that of the first team to successfully defend its world crown since Brazil in 1962, and Italy before that in 1938. Manager Joachim Low is also seeking to become the first coach since Vittorio Pozzo in 1938 to defend the title.

For a team looking to win the tournament outright, Moscow is a logical base of operations, and Germany’s choice in this case doesn’t complicate matters too much, particularly their opening game where both Germany and Mexico enjoy a comfortably brief trip to their fixture given both of them being within the city. Germany will be relatively weary of their trip to Sochi given the Swedes having a much shorter trip. Their final game against the Koreans involves a further trip for the Asian side

 Toni Kroos Germany are a frightening blend of youth and experience, and depth that arguably only the likes of Spain or France could match. Veterans like Manuel Neuer and Mats Hummels are superbly backed up by emerged prospects like ter Stegen, Kimmich and Sule. The completeness of star midfielder Toni Kroos is only further augmented creatively by exciting attacking talents like Julian Brandt and Leroy Sane, not to mention defensive solidity in the form of robust options like Leon Goretzka. Arguably their main issues may arise upfront, where despite the show they put on in qualifying, Sandro Wagner and Thomas Muller didn’t fully absolve Timo Werner of the scoring responsibilities.

Soccer World Cup Prediction: 1st in Group F, with a fairly clean run to the final.

Germany were perfect in qualifying, winning 10 of 10 and scoring a heap of goals in the process. Their opponents in Group F have all had healthy histories of punching above their weight in World Cups gone by, but it’s unlikely Germany will indulge an underperformance. A Group F win beckons, and given that most of their likely matches in the knockout stages map very well in proximity to Moscow, it’s hard to see how these circumstances, added to their immense squad quality and depth, don’t culminate in a successful run to the final four once again. As for the title… time will tell. 

Place a Soccer World Cup bet

PROFILE: MEXICO

Mexico World Cup

FIFA Ranking 16th World Cup Base Location Moscow
How they qualified Finished 1st in CONCACAF Qualifying Group ahead of Costa Rica
Form in 2017/18: Played 13, Won 7, Drawn 3, Lost 3 (includes 4 friendlies)

 

World Cup Record: 15 Tournaments
Played 53 Draws 14 Scored 57 Penalty Shootout Wins
Wins 14 Losses 25 Conceded 92 0 out of 2

 

Group Stage Round of 16 Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
1930, 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1978 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 1970, 1986

 

World Cup Head to Head Records:
vs Germany: Played 3, Lost 3 Last Match: Lost 1-2, 1998 Round of 16
vs Sweden: Played 1, Lost 1 Last Match: Lost 0-3, 1958 Group Stage
vs Korea Republic: Played 1, Won 1 Last Match: Won 3-1, 1998 Group Stage

 

Various Odds of Interest
Group F Winner 5.00, 2nd favourite Group F – 2nd Place 1.85
Top Goalscorer Vela / Hernandez (4.00), Peralta (6.00), Lozano (8.00)

 

Mexico’s World Cup record is unusual to say the least, having failed to progress beyond the round of 16 in every single one of their last 6 appearances, unable to match their quarterfinal berths when hosting the competition in 1970 and 1986. Their qualification was a smooth process, securing their spot in Russia with three games to spare. The optimism around the team is fairly strong, but there’s a lingering concern that while Mexico have the ability to qualify from this group, their ability to beat the stronger sides on paper remains questionable.

With the exception of their first game in the capital, where both Mexico and their opponents Germany have equal footing of proximity between their training base and the match location, the North Americans have a travel advantage in their matches against Korea in Rostov and Sweden in Ekaterinburg, needing to travel less distance.

Mexico World Cup PlayerMexico don’t lack for players of broader European experience, all entering their most prominent footballing ages; Diego Reyes, Hector Herrera and Jesus Corona are coming off a title winning season at Porto. Veterans like Hector Moreno, Andres Guardado, Guillermo Ochoa and Javier Hernandez have a number of World Cups under their belt, alongside their travels across Europe. And the wide forwards Carlos Vela and emerging superstar Hirving Lozano have goals and creativity to add to the depth in options like Raul Jimenez and Marco Fabian.

Soccer World Cup Prediction: 2nd in Group F, but is that all it will be?

Mexico’s depth is impressive on examination; their tactical variety in attack has the capacity to undo most defences they face, whether it’s Lozano at set pieces, or Hernandez as a poacher, or Jimenez as a leader of the counter-press. And their ability to be solid at the core with a pairing of Guardado and Herrera in midfield solves an issue very easily that most teams at the World Cup won’t have players for. Their issue is outright quality, as has often been the case in the past. If Mexico does navigate Group F, which even given their strengths and travel advantages, won’t be a foregone conclusion, they’ll have to answer the same question asked of them in the last 3 World Cups – can they beat a side clearly stronger on paper?  Without that answer, Mexico look set for another favourable 2nd place Group finish and an exit to Brazil in the Round of 16.

PROFILE: SWEDEN

Sweden Soccer

FIFA Ranking 18th World Cup Base Location Gelendzhik
How they qualified Beat Italy 1-0 in a two-legged playoff after finished 2nd in UEFA Qualifying Group A behind France and ahead of the Netherlands
Form in 2017/18: Played 8, Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 4 (includes 4 friendlies)

 

World Cup Record: 11 Tournaments
Played 46 Draws 13 Scored 74 Penalty Shootout Wins
Wins 16 Losses 17 Conceded 69 1 of 1

 

Group Stage Round of 16 Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
1970, 1978, 1990 1974**, 2002, 2006 1934 1938, 1950, 1994 1958

 

World Cup Head to Head Records:
vs Germany: Played 4, Won 1, Lost 3 Last Match: Lost 0-2, 2006 Round of 16
vs Mexico: Played 1, Won 1 Last Match: Won 3-0, 1958 Group Stage
vs Korea Republic: Never played against them in World Cup competition

 

Various Odds of Interest
Group F Winner 6.25, 3rd highest Group F – 2nd Place 2.10 (2nd favourite)
Top Goalscorer Berg (2.50), Toivonen / Hiljemark (4.00), Forsberg (6.00)

 

Sweden make their first World Cup appearance since losing to hosts Germany in the 2006 edition, having qualified in dramatic fashion, at the expense of both the Netherlands and Italy, both of whom have had extensive qualification streaks ended in surprise fashion. Sweden’s performances in qualifying were mixed between heroic wins over France and Italy, and a colossal 8-0 goalfest over Luxembourg. Their qualification ensures that they’ve never failed to miss more than two tournaments back to back.

Sweden’s base in Gelendzhik presents the most challenging of locales in Group F; while Sweden will have a far easier trip to Sochi for their second group game against favourites Germany (which is a game they’re largely expected to lose anyway), their other trips to Nizhny Novgorod and Ekaterinburg are the larger in distance compared to the opponents that they’ll most be anxious to beat.

Andreas Granqvist SoccerSweden’s team isn’t composed of as many household names as in the past, but this hasn’t affected their composition for success. Manager Janne Andersson’s tactical ideologies hold up much of the tactical discipline that has characterized some of Sweden’s best sides in previous years. Marcus Berg has done superbly to step into the goalscoring shadow left by Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s retirement. The goal and assisted minded Viktor Claesson and veteran captain Andreas Granqvist are also no strangers to Russia, currently playing for FC Krasnodar. Versatile Victor Lindelof has comfortably secured his berth alongside the captain at centre back. Then there’s emerging attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg, who was an especially important creative contributor to RB Leipzig in their tremendously successful season in 2016/17.

Soccer World Cup Prediction: 3rd in Group F  

Sweden’s ability to produce exceptional results against strong opposition isn’t something to dismiss, as the likes of Italy will attest. But there are factors that count against them in this World Cup, not least of which the travelling demands and what seems to be (on paper, at least) a stronger, and deeper opponent in Mexico. Sweden may have some other intangible advantages, such as their higher propensity to deal with Russia’s variance of climate and temperature. But considering how many footballers play abroad anyway, the advantages of this may be nullified to the extent that unless the tactical switches are perfect, it’s likely that Sweden will put on a disciplined show, but one just short of the quality needed to move past 3rd in the group. 

PROFILE: KOREA REPUBLIC

FIFA Ranking 59th World Cup Base Location St. Petersburg
How they qualified Finished 2nd in AFC Qualifying Group A behind Iran
Form in 2017/18: Played 9, Won 3, Drawn 4, Lost 2 (includes 4 friendlies)

 

World Cup Record: 9 Tournaments
Played 31 Draws 9 Scored 31 Penalty Shootout Wins
Wins 5 Losses 17 Conceded 67 1 of 1

 

Group Stage Round of 16 Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
1954, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2014 2010 2002

 

World Cup Head to Head Records:
vs Germany: Played 2, Lost 2 Last Match: Lost 0-1, 2002 Semifinal
vs Mexico: Played 1, Lost 1 Last Match: Lost 1-3, 1998 Group Stage
vs Sweden: Never played against them in World Cup competition

 

Various Odds of Interest
Group F Winner 16.00, worst in group Qualify from Group Yes (2.60)
Top Goalscorer Heung-Min Son (3.00), Hyunjun / Ja-Cheol / Changhoon / Ki (8.00)

 

Asia’s most successful nation in the World Cup extended their qualification streak to 9 World Cups, but far less optimism surrounds the current group, due to a number of factors, not least of which is the recent appointment of current manager Shin Tae-yong, following the dismissal of former coach Uli Stielike.  Apart from their spectacular semifinal run in 2002, Korea Republic’s only other Group Stage qualification came in 2010 where they managed to finish second ahead of the more fancied opponents of Greece and Nigeria. Their qualification was complicated, either struggling to score goals in matches where they were heavily expected to do so (0-0 vs Uzbekistan, Iran and Syria) or leaking goals, some that even undermined their few victories (3-2 victories over China and Qatar).

For their group games against Germany and Mexico, Korea Republic’s base in St. Petersburg represents a marginal disadvantage in travel distance. Their opener against Sweden in Nizhny Novgorod will be an extensive travel for both sides, but less so for Korea Republic.

Much rests of the goal-scoring and creative shoulders of versatile star forward Son Heung-min for a successful tournament. Likewise, Swansea’s Ki Sung-yueng’s robust and combative talents are critical to the Korean tactical philosophy. Emerging young forwards Hee-Chan Hwang, Chang-hun Kwon, attacking midfielders Jae-seong Lee and veteran Ja-Cheol Koo will be important support to Son’s attacking efforts, though it remains to be seen if the latter will be able to make the tournament due to injury.

Soccer World Cup Prediction: 4th in Group F

Korea Republic come into Russia under a cloud of management and questions regarding the talent available at Shin Tae-yong’s disposal, and it’s hard to see this situation change. Son Heung-min is especially talented, but even at international level, his contributions have been tame by comparison to his exploits in the English Premier League. And if he is unable to help his side progress, it’s unclear who else will be able to step up in his place. 4th place is expected for the Asians, with more to do in time for the next World Cup milestone in 2022.

Place a Soccer World Cup bet

World Cup Betting Odds*

Date Venue Team Odds   Team Odds Odds
17-Jun-18 Moscow Germany 0.45 v Mexico 8.15 Draw  3.39
18-Jun-18 Nizhny Novgorod Sweden 1.18 v Korea Republic 2.64 Draw  2.23
23-Jun-18 Rostov-on-Don Korea Republic 3.02 v Mexico 1.01 Draw  2.30
23-Jun-18 Sochi Germany 0.50 v Sweden 5.61 Draw  3.28
27-Jun-18 Kazan Korea Republic 9.69 v Germany 0.26 Draw  4.11
27-Jun-18 Ekaterinburg Mexico 1.40 v Sweden 1.90 Draw  2.14

 

Soccer World Cup Group Previews and Predictions

Soccer World Cup Preview – Group A (Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay)
Soccer World Cup Preview – Group B (Portugal, Spain, Morocco, IR Iran)
Soccer World Cup Preview – Group C (France, Australia, Peru, Denmark)
Soccer World Cup Preview – Group D (Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria)
Soccer World Cup Preview – Group E (Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia)
Soccer World Cup Preview – Group F (Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea)
Soccer World Cup Preview – Group G (Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England)
Soccer World Cup Preview – Group H (Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan)

Place a Soccer World Cup bet

*Please note – odds mentioned above are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change, so always check the latest published odds to be fully certain before betting.

**Certain tournaments had slightly different formats in the past, so the placing most aligned to the current tournament format has been chosen.

 

 

Leave a Reply